Tuesday, May 23, 2006
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Last November when my agent called with the news that she had sold my novel, one of the first things I did was build a small pyre and burn my waitressing shoes. According to the pedometer I wore to work, I put on an average of 5-10 miles every shift four to five days a week in the season that stretches from May to October. In other words, those were some hammered shoes.
Anyway, the burning of those black shoes wasn't supposed to be merely ceremonial. It was supposed to trigger the end of my waitressing career. Only it didn't.
A month ago, when "the season" hit, some primal urge drove me back. Think of birds flying south in the winter, cats slithering off to die in the woods....that kind of hardwired animal instinct. When the captain called with my schedule, I found myself mysteriously ironing shirts, digging out aprons and nametag and punch card.
The only trouble is, I don't have any waitressing shoes. And I'm not buying another pair. Not ever. (At least, I hope I'm not.) So I showed up in this old pair of Sketchers from the back of my closet. Very un-regulation.
So far I'm getting away with it. And if someone calls me on it? Maybe I'll remember that acrid November smoke, and I'll finally get it: I don't have to do this anymore. Maybe it's all about the shoes, after all.